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You can categorize most GNU/Linux distributions as either community or commercial. Community-based distributions like Debian, Fedora, or CentOS are maintained largely by volunteers and donations of services or money, while commercial distributions like Suse, Red Hat, or Xandros are backed by a company and compete directly against proprietary operating systems such as Windows and OS X.
Whether you are an individual or a corporate representative, the differences between the two categories are worth thinking about, because your choice can effect how you interact with them, the way you can expect them to conduct themselves, and the philosophies you face.
Admittedly, the distinction is less firm than it once was. A decade ago, members of community distributions were purists who viewed commercial distributions as upstarts that stole from the community and corrupted its ideals with business interests. In turn, those involved in commercial distributions tended to view members of community ones as naive, and their software offerings as needing proprietary extras to be suitable for use, or at least some business sense.
Now, the two categories are harder to tell apart. Several companies are involved with both commercial and community distributions — for instance, Novell is involved with both Suse Linux Enterprise and openSUSE, and Red Hat with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. In these cases, the two distros are technically separate, but business interests may spill over into the community distribution from time to time. Not only does Red Hat employ several Fedora community leaders, but, in its security crisis a couple of months ago, Red Hat seems to have made decisions that affected Fedora without consulting its board.
Even more confusing, while Ubuntu seems technically a community distribution, its backing by Canonical gives it more funding than the average community distribution. And, while some firmer distinction between Ubuntu and Canonical might evolve in the near future as Canonical increases its efforts at profitability, that hasn’t happened yet. For now, both Ubuntu and Canonical continue to take direction from their founder Mark Shuttleworth.
In general, community and commercial distros are less polarized than they once were. Yet, even in cases where the boundaries are blurred, the distinction often holds true. You just have to remember that not to be surprised by exceptions to the general differences.
When commercial distributions launch, they are entering a market with well-established rules. Although they may challenge those rules by supporting a free software or open source philosophy, in other senses they have to conform to keep customers at ease.
One of the most obvious differences is accessibility to decision makers. Even in a giant community distribution like Debian, the project leader or the maintainer of a particular package is easily found on mailing lists or IRC channels, and any user can strike up a conversation with them. However, while the leaders of commercial distributions may be somewhat more accessible than their corporate peers, the larger the business, the harder it is for customers to engage them directly.
These days, for example, it is difficult to talk with any Red Hat employee outside of public relations or technical support without first obtaining the same sort of permission that you would need at Hewlett-Packard or Sun Microsystems — and, even then, someone is likely to sit in on your exchange. The interaction is more formal and more restricted than in any community distribution.
However, the same formality makes approaching a commercial distribution much easier. Unless you are unusually obnoxious, the sole criteria for being heard by a commercial distribution is to be a customer or a potential customer.
By contrast, the programmer’s ideal of a meritocracy still retains influence in a community distribution — to say nothing of a lingering distrust here and there of anyone in business. While most community distributions have forums for new users, to really become accepted in them, you usually need to contribute in some way, regardless of whether you are a company or an individual. Making this kind of contribution can take time, and, if you are representing a business, community relations should probably be seen as a form of marketing. In effect, in a community distribution, you need to become part of the community. If initial contact is easier in a community distribution, long-term relationships are likely to require more maintenance.
Community distributions, by definition as well as the preferences of their members, are far more informal than commercial ones. If you are a programmer, you may welcome this informality as a comfortable and familiar environment; however, if it is new to you, it can quickly drive you to distraction.
For one thing, association with a community distribution is voluntary. In the absence of a paycheck for most members, all that keeps them involved is their own interest. Inevitably, this situation means that community distributions are more democratically organized. Leaders of community distros not only can’t give orders the way that managers in a business can, but their authority lies largely in their diplomacy and arbitration skills.
In this situation, you cannot expect quick decisions. Instead, in a community distro like Debian, every point is discussed until everyone is exhausted, and the issue may be voted on by all members. Technically, a distribution like Fedora operates as a representative democracy, with community members electing a board, but these representatives usually know better than to make decisions without gauging the opinions of everyone else. In both these cases, obtaining at least a rough consensus is at least as important as taking decisive action.
The informal structure is also reflected in the forum-based support that community distributions offer. Such help is largely an offshoot of a member’s involvement in the community, as well as another way to contribute and gain credit. In many cases, this help can be quicker and more detailed than the formal help that commercial distributions sell, but also harder to find, sometimes much ruder, and frequently continuing long after you have solved your problem as new people chime in with suggestions. To someone used to the commercial way of doing things, this support can be disconcerting, even though it is often just as effective as that offered by paid technicians.
Another unbusiness-like attitude of community distributions is their indifference to regular release schedules. This indifference is due partly to a preference for quality rather than punctuality, since credit for good work is the only return that many members will ever get for their volunteer effort.
However, it is also due to the fact that, given online repositories, regular releases are largely irrelevant, because the newest versions of applications are always available anyway. At most, a formally scheduled release is an excuse for extra testing and rethinking distribution policy. That is why Debian’s deserved reputation for being slow with new releases does little to affect its popularity. But, in fact, many community distributions have lapses just as bad as Debian’s; for example, the lapse between CentOS 4.6 and 4.7 was over three years.
True, community distributions associated with corporate interests have become more regular in their releases than they once were. Significantly, though, when faced with a loss of development time because of the Red Hat security crisis, Fedora responded by delaying its next release, preferring to do it properly, just like any other community distribution.
In comparison, like any software business, a commercial distribution needs new products — which is what a new release largely is. Moreover, keeping to a schedule is a sign of reliability for customers (especially corporate ones), many of whom are still thinking in proprietary terms, and are unused to the constant upgrades that are the norm in GNU/Linux.
These are probably the reasons why Mark Shuttleworth sees a need to promise regular releases in his blog, and to float the idea of major distributions coordinating their releases with major applications like GNOME. What is largely irrelevant to community distributions is essential to corporate ones.
Probably the largest difference between community and commercial distributions is the philosophies that motivate them. Sometimes, this difference is attributed to the difference between the activist free software and the developer-oriented open source philosophies. And it is true that distributions that contain only free-license software like GNewSense are usually community-based. However, you can find many gradients between the two poles of free software and open source in both types of distros, so this description seems lacking.
Much the same attitude can be found in many rank and file members of commercial distributions, even those who are paid to work on them. These days, though, the leaders of commercial distributions are sounding as though they agree with Matthew Aslett, who, using “open source” to refer to free software as well, suggests that:
Open source is a business tactic, not a business model. Open source is not a market in and of itself, nor is it a vertical segment of the market. Open source is a software development and/or distribution model that is enabled by a licensing tactic. It enables new revenue generation strategies.
In other words, those leading commercial distributions do not see what they are doing as transformative, or a revolution in customer-business relations, the way that the signers of The Clue Train Manifesto did in 1999. Rather, it has become a way to save costs or get ahead of the competition. Otherwise, commercial distributions are simply engaging in business as usual.
The same cannot be said of the average members of community distributions. So as far as they are concerned with business at all (and many aren’t), they see their efforts as a way to produce better software, or as a more human way of doing business. Above everything else, they see their attitudes and behavior as an alternative. And many of them are eager to promote it as one.
Whether you support or can accept these attitudes may have a larger role in your choice of distributions than anything else because, one way or the other, they will permeate most of your interactions with the distribution.
So which is better: a community distribution, or a commercial one?
The question has no simple answer. If you are used to traditional ways of dealing with software — or have to answer to those who are — then working with a commercial distribution is probably easier to handle. With paid support and regular releases, they will probably be a comfortable fit.
With free support, community distributions might seem more economical. However, the need to nourish a good relationship and the atmosphere of a town meeting can cost you in extra effort, and require specialized staff if you represent a business. Just as important, the informal atmosphere may be strange and frustrating to you, and hard to explain to anyone to whom you report. Or, possibly, you may find the informality refreshing and engaging.
But whatever your decision, remember that all GNU/Linux distributions are not the same. Which of these alternatives you should choose depends very much on what you are prepared to tolerate.
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Meta-owned WhatsApp has recently rolled out its new WhatsApp feature.
This exclusive feature allows up to twenty WhatsApp groups to join together to form a single community.
As soon as the feature launched, users started comparing it to the existing WhatsApp group features.
So, what’s the basic difference between the two? Which one is better?
Read through this article to knot h basic differences between the two WhatsApp features in detail.
This exclusive feature will help you to bring along separate individuals sharing the same interests under a single community.
It is a parent group consisting of various sub-groups for smoother and more convenient communication.
Being a user, you can leave a specific group but still be a part of the Community. You will still be able to access the information circulated in the central group.
The WhatsApp community also includes a specific feature where admins can send a message to all the other groups, including the WhatsApp Community.
WhatsApp group brings all WhatsApp users together who can share messages with each other.
Being a WhatsApp user, you can create or be a part of the WhatsApp group.
While creating a WhatsApp group, you need to select the contacts from the list of your phone contacts.
Then add the name and description, and set a profile picture. Then the group admin can allow the members to share messages and media files.
The creator of the group can limit the sharing capabilities to the admins only.
In this case, only the selected users can send messages to that group. For the other users, the group exists in read-only mode.
Both WhatsApp groups and communities have separate uses. So, go through these basic differences and decide when to create a WhatsApp group and when to create a WhatsApp Community.
The WhatsApp Communities are accessible in a dedicated tab within WhatsApp.
You will see a community icon right beside the Chats tab.
The community icon is rectangular in shape, whereas the WhatsApp group has a circular icon.
A WhatsApp group can have up to 1024 users, whereas the WhatsApp community supports about 21 groups with about 21,500 participants users with end-to-end encryption to all the users.
While creating a new WhatsApp community, you are allowed to add up to 21 groups, including new and existing ones.
While managing the groups inside the WhatsApp community, you can add 51 groups.
WhatsApp group welcomes everyone to join the conversation and share views.
Whereas WhatsApp communities are created to share announcements & updates in different WhatsApp groups from a single channel.
The groups are open for any community member to join.
When a new Community is created, each user of the individual group who joins the Community is automatically added to the announcement group.
This means that there is no need to copy-paste and then forward the messages in multiple groups. The announcement can be made from a single broadcast channel.
The announcement group can have only 5000 members, as stated on the WhatsApp support page.
WhatsApp group has rolled out a new innovative feature called Polls, but this feature is missing in WhatsApp Communities.
If you are the admin of some WhatApp groups and leave the group, then the admin right is transferred to another user in the group.
But in WhatsApp Communities, the creator or the admin cannot exist as an admin. Instead, you can stay deactivated.
The power of the members of a WhatsApp community is limited. They cannot invite new groups or embers.
It is the admin who has the supreme power to add or remove other embers from the group. The admin can edit the community title and description and send or delete messages in the announcement group.
WhatsApp group allows you to make video calls or voice calls anytime. But you cannot do that in a WhatsApp community.
To conduct meetings and discuss anything, the communities must rely on WhatsApp groups.
To support this, WhatsApp has increased the number of participants in a video or audio call to 32 users.
Every user in a WhatsApp group can see the other members’ lists.
Open the WhatsApp group settings, and there you will be able to check the complete list of the participants along with their contact numbers.
But the WhatsApp community members cannot see the list of all the other members.
You will only be able to see the number of members who are part of the WhatsApp community.
How do I change my WhatsApp group to Community?
You can open WhatsApp and tap on More Options. The tap on the New Community.
How can I avoid the WhatsApp group without anyone knowing?
Open WhatsApp. Go to the chats tab and tap on the group you want to leave.
Who owns the WhatsApp Community app?
Mathew Peltier and Josh Rosenheck are the cofounders of the WhatsApp Community app.
WhatsApp Communities and groups both have their individual importance.
In the Linux desktop world, the graphical user interface is here to stay. Old Unix hands may grumble, but the fact remains that, without all the efforts poured into GNOME, KDE, Xfce and others, Linux would not be as successful as it is today.
The reason for the desktop’s success is obvious. A desktop requires much less knowledge than a command line, and is suited to maybe 80% of the most common tasks that an average user needs. If the desktop needs much larger applications, that hardly seems a problem on a modern computer.
In fact, for many administrative tasks, the command line is actually easier than the desktop. Looking through my BASH history, I can see at least five circumstances in which I generally choose the command line over the desktop:
Whether you are copying, moving, or deleting files, the BASH shell gives you far more options than KDE’s Dolphin or GNOME’s Nautilus. Such desktop file managers do their best, but they can only plan for the average use cases, and add confirmation dialogs to prevent users from doing something rash.
Moreover, because menu and toolbars rarely have entries for symbolic links, a whole generation of desktop users are unaware that the possibility even exists, or when to use them.
By contrast, consider all the possibilities of a simple command such as cp (copy). To start with, you can decide whether you want an indication of progress, or the ability to confirm before overwriting files. If you want you can archive or backup files. You can choose to create symbolic links instead of copying, and whether to preserve file attributes, and you can ensure that you remain on the same filesystem or not. Other file management commands are similarly versatile, although some of the details differ.
Another practical consideration is that, when moving large numbers of files — for instance, when you are doing a backup — desktops tend to freeze, no matter how much RAM your machine has. Consequently, you can be left waiting for your file management to complete, unable to do anything else. Or, even worse, you can be left uncertain whether you have actually succeeded what you are doing. These problems simply don’t exist at the prompt.
Just as with the file management commands, the ls command gives you far more versatility than any desktop display. True, by definition you can’t have an icon view, but you can you use colors or symbols to indicate different types of files.
You also have all the filters available in desktop file managers, including whether to show hidden and backup files, as well as the ability to sort listings by extension, file size, time modified, and file version.
However, what I appreciate most about ls is that when you use the -l or -g option, all the information about file attributes is printed on a single line.
By contrast, in the average desktop file manager, you choose the default attributes to display, or at least their order (which, in anything less than a full-sized window, often comes down the same thing). Often, too, permissions are listed on a separate tab, and four or five keystrokes away.
Some applications simply defy a graphical interface. Oh, you can make one, if you insist, but the result is always proof (if you need any) that slapping everything into a window does not necessarily make for user friendliness.
That is especially true of applications with hundreds of options, such as Apache. However, it can also be true of much smaller utilities such as crontab. I have yet to see a crontag graphical interface that was not more intimidating than the command itself. By the time I have finished deciphering a desktop of crontab, I could have scheduled half a dozen jobs to run at a latter time.
Both apt-get and yum, the leading package management tools, have had graphical front ends for years. However, just as with file managers, you can practically hear graphical package tools like Synaptic or the Ubuntu Software Centre grinding away when processing large numbers of files. In fact, when you update, many of these desktop tools simply freeze — often while giving very little indication of what is happening.
Moreover, if you want to install something too soon after you log in, often the graphical tools have a conflict with the update applet. When that happens, you either have to wait or decide which one to close.
Next Page: Command line and desktop resources….
With the festive season just around the corner and the spirit of sharing entering into our (online) thoughts, Google+ has just added a new community focused feature to its social network, which will “help bring people together to share their interests even more.”
Google+ Communities appears to be the company’s answer to Facebook’s Groups, allowing users to create dedicated communities related to their passions and interests, and connect with like minded people.
The move would seem to be a timely one for Google+, which has, until now, tried, and largely failed at promoting itself as a meeting place where people can discover new things and people. Whilst features like Hangouts, Explore, Circles and trending topics can help users to locate conversations that interest them, the social network has lacked a centralized forum where people can share information, photos, thoughts and beliefs that are specific to a certain theme or topic.
It will be interesting to see if Google+ Communities catches on in the same way that Facebook groups have done. Certainly the potential is there: with more than 500 million registered users, the likelihood that some of these will have common interests is pretty large.
To facilitate the new communities, Google has made them easily accessible. Unlike with Facebook where users need to navigate to a particular group before posting something, it’s possible to post an item on Google+ Communities directly from the Google+ home screen. Simply post whatever it is you want to share, and then select the appropriate community circle to make it appear on the relevant page.
Google+ Communities aren’t quite the same as Facebook’s Groups though. Whilst they possess some of the same hallmarks, one of the main differences is the option to filter the posts within a certain community, according to discussion categories or topics. Other noticeable differences are that the photos appear larger as well, whilst it’s possible to share Hangouts and Events with other community members directly on the page.And a brand new photo application for Android
In keeping with the spirit of sharing, readers may also be interested to learn of a second new release by Google today. Announced alongside the communities feature is a brand new photo application for Android that will inevitably be seen by some as a potential challenger to the all-powerful Instagram.
Snapseed and its parent company Nik Software were ‘snapped up’ by Google earlier this year, and after several months of development the app is finally ready for takeoff.
“Great pictures aren’t taken, they’re made—and Nik Software has been helping people make awesome photos for years,” explains Google in its announcement, before listing an array of functions which it hopes will entice Android away from Facebook’s own photo app acquisition.
Instagram users will be familiar with Snapseed’s functionality, which includes the ability to make basic alterations to photos, such as cropping, straightening and fine tuning, together with an array of creative filters to enhance the images. In addition, the app allows users to share their photos through the usual set of social media channels, including Google+ and Facebook.
Snapseed has been launched on Google Play today, while the iOS version has also received an update.
Last Updated on July 22, 2023
This week we see the much-vaunted release of Windows 11, predominantly on new machines but we are sure many people will be moving to the new operating system using a variety of means and methods.
We have also seen Microsoft’s first Windows 11 TV commercial, featuring Master Chief and Halo along with the actress chosen to play the starring role.Who is the actress in the Windows 11 commercial?
The girl in the Windows 11 commercial is actress Ima Djie who is pretty hard to track down on the internet for her previous work but she has made a remarkable splash with this appearance, with the internet awash with search queries.
Whether this ad will be the first in a series or a one-off remains to be seen, but ith Windows 11 set to be with us for the foreseeable future, it is quite possible we will be seeing Ima more and more on our screens.Highlights of Windows 11
(courtesy of Microsoft)
The new design and sounds are modern, fresh, clean and beautiful, bringing you a sense of calm and ease.
With Start, we’ve put you and your content at the center. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what device you were viewing them on.
Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops provide an even more powerful way to multitask and optimize your screen real estate.
Chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar provides a faster way to connect to the people you care about.
Widgets, a new personalized feed powered by AI, provides a faster way to access the information you care about, and with Microsoft Edge’s world class performance, speed and productivity features you can get more done on the web.
Windows 11 delivers the best Windows ever for gaming and unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware with technology like DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate you get access to over 100 high-quality PC games to play on Windows 11 for one low monthly price. (Xbox Game Pass sold separately.)
Windows 11 comes with a new Microsoft Store rebuilt with an all-new design making it easier to search and discover your favorite apps, games, shows, and movies in one trusted location. We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders over the coming months.
Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows with new accessibility improvements that were built for and by people with disabilities.
Windows 11 unlocks new opportunities for developers and creators. We are opening the Store to allow more developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps to the Store, improving native and web app development with new developer tools, and making it easier for you to refresh the look and feel across all our app designs and experiences.
Windows 11 is optimized for speed, efficiency and improved experiences with touch, digital pen and voice input.
Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work, delivering new experiences that work how you work, are secure by design, and easy and familiar for IT to deploy and manage. Businesses can also test Windows 11 in preview today in Azure Virtual Desktop, or at general availability by experiencing Windows 11 in the new Windows 365.
Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation
The recent merging of two leading open source groups, OSDL and FSG, seems like good news for Linux. With the combined resources of both outfits, the brand new Linux Foundation will have more muscle to fight the good fight and triumph in the never-ending battle against proprietary software.
Some murmured, darkly, that the Linux Foundation is merely a corporate front, with sponsors likes IBM, HP, Intel, and Novell (wait, didn’t Novell just sign an accord with…Microsoft?). So the Foundation is just a shadow group designed to put the corporate boot on the neck of Linux, some said.
Still others wondered if the Foundation would do anything useful at all. For instance, Gartner analyst George Weiss, quoted in chúng tôi opined that the group has a short window to prove itself: “If you don’t hear from them for another 12-15 months, and they disappear into the woodwork, you can write them off.”
Other observers scoffed at the notion of a central guiding light for Linux. All those free-spirited distros – Slackware, Knoppix, Gentoo, the list goes on – who’s going to rule them all? Organizing the Linux community is like herding cats. Nobody’s going to tell me what to do. (Translated: “If I wanted to be a subservient dweeb I’d buy a button-down shirt and go work for Microsoft.”)
So alas, add up all the doubts and you realize the new Linux Foundation has some work to do.
Someone, clearly, had to get to the bottom of this. So a humble reporter from Datamation, his notepad full of questions, placed a call to Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation’s executive director.
The first thing you realize upon talking with Jim Zemlin is that he’s a natural communicator. While many trade group spokespeople are scripted automatons, Zemlin seems open and real, even possessing a spark of charisma. A born front man.
Still, maybe that’s part of the plot by the Foundation’s corporate sponsors – hire someone who seems authentic. So Jim, what’s the deal? What about all this talk of big business controlling Linux?
Zemlin laughs. “I appreciate all the [talk of] conspiracy out there,” he says.
“There’s lot of theories out there, and you know what? That’s what I love about open source.” He chuckles again. “I love that stuff. But at the end of the day, this is about providing choice, about providing freedom. There are certain principles in the open source world that nobody is going to compromise.
“I’d say, for once in history, the interests of large corporations and community members, people who use technology, are aligned.
“And it is fine to have corporate participation. But I would also point out this organization will have direct representation from key community developers, on our board of directors. Our work group and technical activities are completely open. Our standards specifications are wholly published, online, free for all. The development tools that we build are completely available under an open source license, free to anyone who cares to download and use them.”
He welcomes close examination of the Foundation and its activities. “I think that scrutiny is a good thing. And this organization wants to be very open to that.”
Next page: Who Gave You the Authority?
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